August 2016
Volume 16, Issue 12
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Surfaces are factored out of patterns by monkey IT neurons
Author Affiliations
  • N. Apurva Ratan Murty
    Centre for Neuroscience, Indian Institute of Science
  • S.P. Arun
    Centre for Neuroscience, Indian Institute of Science
Journal of Vision September 2016, Vol.16, 180. doi:
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      N. Apurva Ratan Murty, S.P. Arun; Surfaces are factored out of patterns by monkey IT neurons . Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):180.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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We have no difficulty recognizing a straight line on a tilted or curved surface, but this inference is in fact non-trivial. Doing so requires factoring out the overall surface deformation from the pattern itself, a process whose underlying neural mechanisms have never been investigated. Here, we recorded the responses of single neurons in the monkey inferior temporal (IT) cortex to stimuli in which the pattern and the surrounding surface were varied independently. In a subpopulation of IT neurons, we found surface-pattern interactions that produced similar responses when the pattern and surface were congruent. These interactions arose late and produced opposite modulation for pattern and surface changes, in a manner akin to surround suppression. This was true for patterns on a variety of surfaces: flat, tilted, rotated, convex and concave. Thus, surface deformations are factored out of pattern representations by monkey IT neurons.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016


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